WA government offers expenditure relief for explorers

Exploration companies in Western Australia can apply for an expenditure exemption from the state government if they are unable to meet the tenement’s expenditure requirements.

Tenement holders that are unable to meet expenditure requirements as a direct result of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease of 2019), or because of restrictions imposed by the state and federal governments, can now apply for exemptions to the Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS).

They will be required to detail the basis of requesting a time extension through the existing Form 5 process.

This state government decision will be valid until March next year unless rescinded earlier.

The response by the Western Australian Government follows an appeal by the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) on the state and territory governments to implement a moratorium on tenement rentals and associated expenditure requirements for mineral exploration licenses.

AMEC chief executive Warren Pearce warned last week that small mineral exploration companies could face challenges in raising funds amid difficult financial markets resulted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Western Australian Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said the McGowan Government was also investigating other ways that may assist the industry, yet these remain undisclosed.

“DMIRS is investigating a range of other initiatives that may assist the industry, while not compromising the integrity of our legislative framework,” he said.

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